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Rath Yatra 2024: Interesting Trivia About Chariots Will Leave You Amused – News18

Rath Yatra 2024: Interesting Trivia About Chariots Will Leave You Amused – News18

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The Making of Chariots begins on Akshaya Tritiya day every year.

According to age-old customs, new chariots are created every year for the three deities— Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra.

The Jagannath Rath Yatra in Puri, Odisha, is one of India’s grandest festivals. Known as one of the largest spiritual congregations in the world, the Rath Yatra or the chariot festival marks the annual sojourn of Lord Jagannath and his siblings Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra to their birth place Gundicha Temple.

Every year, on the second day of the new moon in the month of Ashada (June-July), as per the Hindu calendar, the three deities are taken out on chariots to the Gundicha Temple. This year, the Puri Rath Yatra will commence on June 29, and conclude on July 7.

Let’s explore the interesting facts about the making of these chariots.

According to age-old customs, every year new chariots are made for the three deities from the wood brought from the designated forests for Rath Yatra.

Lord Jagannath’s chariot is known as Nandighosha, Lord Balabhadra’s chariot is known as Taladhwaja and that of Goddess Subhadra is called Darpadalana.

Contrary to common construction practices, no nails or any form of metal are utilised in the creation of these sacred chariots. The wood selected for this purpose must adhere to stringent criteria, characterised by its straightness and purity.

Lord Jagannath’s Chariot

Lord Jagannath’s chariot takes two months to make, during which several rules must be followed. The first and most important step in building the chariot is the selection of wood. Neither nails nor any ordinary wood is used for chariots. The wood for the chariot is selected from the designated forest for the Rath Yatra. The artisans stay at Rathakhala, the place where the chariots are made in Puri , for the entire two months until the chariots are ready, adhering to a stringent daily routine during the period.

The work of preparing Jagannath Dev’s chariot for its journey begins on the day of Akshaya Tritiya. Wood is sourced from the forest to craft the chariots. Neem and Hansi wood are used to craft the chariot of Jagannath. The chariot is 45 feet in height and it has 14 wheels.

Lord Balabhadra’s Chariot

This chariot has a palm tree on its flag. It features 14 wheels and the chariot is covered with red and blue clothes. The height of the chariot is around 44 feet.

Goddess Subhadra’s Chariot

Goddess Subhadra’s chariot, Darpadalana, is 43 feet in height and features twelve wheels. The chariot is adorned with red and black cloth.

All three chariots are attached with four horses each. Each chariot is guided by a charioteer called Sarathi. The charioteers for Jagannatha, Balabhadra, and Subhadra’s chariots are Matali, Daruka, and Arjuna, respectively.

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